Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
University for Music and the Performing Arts, Graz, Austria (Kunstuniversität Graz)

When we look to music, are we looking for perfection? Or does imperfection ultimately have more aesthetic value for us as practitioners and researchers? Historically, perfection has been treated with suspicion as an aesthetic idea in general. Already in the 1757 On the Sublime and the Beautiful, Edmund Burke mused that “beauty in distress is the most affecting beauty”; Heinrich Kleist, in his 1810 On the Marionette Theater, further suggested that perfection in art only resided beyond the domain of the properly human. In recent discussions of aesthetics in the more specific realm of music, however, the issue of imperfection has most often been discussed with primary reference to musical improvisation, although additional topics have sometimes been part of the discourse in musicology and artistic research.